Overnight Trips Close to Jersey City
There are so many great weekend getaway options for Jersey City families. We live in a great location, and we’re close to so much. So, pack your overnight bag and hop into the car. Here are some overnight excursions or long weekends. Here is the list of Overnight trips close to Jersey City or Hoboken.
The beautiful little town of Woodstock in upstate New York is only about a 2-hour drive from Jersey City. There is so much to do in the area, and it’s a great weekend getaway option for winter and spring. On my last trip to Woodstock, I found a cute cottage to rent on HomeAway. Many of them offer hot tubs and pools, which are great for relaxation once the kiddies are in bed, and lots of property for older kids to play. You can even get a larger house and split with friends! There are so many things to do in Woodstock. Dining out is never a problem – there are many fantastic restaurant options. Also, there is a big art community in Woodstock, so there are galleries and shops galore. There are many family-friendly activities, as well. The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary opens for the season in April (open weekends only). This is a place where kids can meet a whole host of animals and tour the whole sanctuary. They also have a guesthouse bed and breakfast that you can stay in year-round. You can get arty at Fiber Flame Studios and take a class or walk-in for crafts and art for all ages. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts offers shows, performances, exhibits, workshops, and more.
The summer isn’t the only great time to go “down the shore.” Spring is actually the most enjoyable time to enjoy some of what the Jersey Shore has to offer. Avoid the lines, waits, and crazy crowds of people and have a more laid-back visit. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the shore. I grew up at the Jersey Shore, so I know how fun it is during spring, and here are just a few of my faves. You can take a day trip to any of these places or find a hotel and stay overnight.
Jenkinson’s Boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach is a family favorite. The boardwalk gets pretty crazy during the summer, but most things are open year-round (and more open as the weather warms up). Visit
Jenkinson’s Aquarium, when it gets a bit warmer, ride the amusement rides, get sugared up at the Sweet Shop, or take a relaxing stroll on the beach. The kids need to get out and run after the winter we’ve had, so let them breathe in some fresh ocean air while doing it! Buy tickets at the boardwalk from 11 am – 6 pm or online all weekend and get reduced rates on ticket books for the entire season.
Spend the day in Asbury Park. Whether you are checking out the activities on the boardwalk or getting something delicious to eat, there’s a lot to do in Asbury! The Silverball Pinball Museum offers a ton of classic pinball machines to play and even has a café. If you have a kid interested in ghosts and the paranormal, check out Paranormal Books & Curiosities and the museum that features exhibits like “haunted objects” and “The Jersey Devil: Fact or Fiction.” They even do a walking ghost tour! Finally, hot Sand is a glassblowing studio where you can blow your own unique piece of glasswork or do a quick cast of your hand.
Cape May is a great place to drive to for the day (about 2.5 hours from JC), but the city offers many fun overnight options. There are many fun historic beds and breakfasts in Cape May. You may think that these are only for couples, and although many B&B’s are “childfree,” Cape May offers a host of child-friendly B&B options. Check out this list of historic B&B accommodations that allow children; some have age restrictions, so be sure to check each website. Many hotels are very child-friendly, like the Victorian Motel and even the luxurious Congress Hall. During the day, take kids to the NJ Audubon Nature Center and take a family workshop or learn about local wildlife, enjoy a trip to the Cape May County Zoo or take a trolley tour. Cape May boasts many delicious dining options. Some good kid-friendly choices include Cape May Peanut Butter Co., Della’s 5&10 Soda Fountain, The Lobster House, and so many more.
This seaside town nestled in Connecticut is about a 2.5-hour drive from Jersey City. It is an excellent family destination with so many activities for everyone to enjoy. One of the big draws in the area is the Mystic Aquarium, which offers countless exhibits (Beluga Whales, Titanic, Arctic Watch, and many more), a 4-D Theater, and programs like the Encounter Program, which allows kids to get up-close and personal with their favorite animals. Plus, they offer family programs for various age groups. Another popular activity in Mystic is to take a ride on the high seas and embark on a half-day or sunset sail! They offer different times of day and even private charters for larger groups. Olde Mistick Village is a fun-filled historical shopping experience for the whole family. Enjoy more than 60 small shops in a colonial setting. For your little (or big) train enthusiasts, don’t miss the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, which is the only steam train and riverboat connection in the country. Plus, dino-lovers will enjoy The Dinosaur Place at Nature’s Art Village in nearby Montville, CT. The area is host to many family-friendly accommodations, including The Comfort Inn Mystic, Taber Inne & Suites, and others. Click here for a list of hotels for families. As far as food goes, no trip to Mystic is complete without a visit to the infamous Mystic Pizza (yes, the one from the 80’s movie) or try S&P Oysters for great seafood with a decent children’s menu.
Touted as “the sweetest place on earth,” if your family is the amusement park kinda family with a sweet tooth, this place is for you! There are so many things to do for families in Hershey. First, the obvious big draw, Hershey Park, offers everything your typical amusement park would offer but includes chocolate. This is more of a summer park, but they will open for two weekends in April for spring weekends (April 12-13 and 18-20). My favorite attraction as a child was Hershey’s Chocolate World, which offers a factory tour so you can see how the chocolate is made! In April, there are several dates for breakfast with the Easter Bunny and characters; check here for dates and information. A new attraction they offer is called XOXO and allows you to create your own Hershey’s Kiss using the perfect mix of your favorite colors and flavors! A more calm activity is visiting Hershey Gardens, a flower garden with attractions including the Butterfly House and the Children’s Garden. The gardens open for the season on April 5. Another fun option is ZooAmerica, a year-round 11-acre walk-through zoo. Being a family destination, there are many family-friendly accommodation options in Hershey, PA. The Hotel Hershey is currently offering spring packages, and the Hershey Lodge offers more affordable accommodations for families. As with hotels, there are many dining options for families, including Hershey Pantry, Smoke BBQ Joint, and many more.